Mark McGwire, you think you had it bad?

Wed, Jan 13

Dear Mark McGwire,

You say you're sorry. Claim you're coming clean. Sniff and weep and wish that you had never played during the steroids era.

Trust me, Big Mac: You have no idea.

You wish that you had never played during the steroid era? I wish I had never played during the steroid era. Because I'm a baseball. And I got crushed. Bruised and abused. Time and again. While you were playing buddy-buddy with Sammy Sosa and shrugging off andro questions, I was landing in upper decks. Careening off stadium signs. Getting dunked in frigid San Francisco Bay water. Did anyone give me a parachute, a GPS device, a wet suit?

No. Never. If people weren't fighting and scratching and clawing at me with their grubby little nacho-cheese-stained fingers -- the mere smell of beer breath still sends me into post-traumatic shock -- they were throwing me into lockboxes and filing ugly lawsuits and selling me into bondage to the guy who created Spawn (nice digs, sure, but if I wanted to spend time in a glass case under house arrest, I'd audition for "Big Brother"). The horror. The. Horror. Gitmo inmates get better treatment. And for what? For spinning and whizzing and doing my job? Please. Not in my contract.

Oh, and get this, McDLT: You did all the mauling, but I took the fall. That's right. Blame the victim. Never gets old. People said I was juiced. Seriously. Like, respectable academics and sports writers. And they cut me open to prove it. Um, hello? I'm as small and firm as ever. I'm not the one who started resembling a softball. That would be Barry Bonds' biceps. And his noggin. Go saw him in half, for cripes' sake!

Double Whopper, you say you want forgiveness. And maybe you'll get it. But not from me. No chance. Look at your new gig. Hitting instructor! That's like Charles Barkley apologizing for DUI, and then becoming a bartender. Apology not accepted. In fact, I hope you fall on your big, fat, tear-strewn face.

Spend the next 10 years as one of those giant Japanese drums -- getting smacked and whacked by large men with sticks -- and maybe we can talk.


The Ball